There is a single word that keeps troubling me, since COVID-19 pandemic crisis turned into a harsh reality in Italy at the end of February.
This word is "unessential".
As a therapeutic musician, I'm used to think that my service meets human psycho-social and spiritual needs as essential as life itself.
Nevertheless, in a state of emergency, I have been asked to stop visiting facilities, together with other "unessential visitors".
Questions arise: is music to some extent redundant in our lives?
Would it be possible for a therapeutic musician to convey his/her service in other ways than an actual relationship in presence?
As pandemic spreads, anxiety, depression, restlessness and sleep disorders are peeking out within the population as a consequence of isolation and fear.
To date, we count three suicides and a massive increase in domestic violence related to COVID-19.
Although these issues are overshadowed by the pandemic and may not be recognized as first-line agenda, we are at risk for major individual and social negative outcomes.
Music is a positive reaction we can - and we must - put into practice immediately, for ourselves and for the others.
As a powerful mean of expression and connection, music can bridge the ongoing relational gap and help coping.
We are called to reorganize our service to make it available remotely.
We all know that analog and digital are not the same.
Something will be "lost in translation".
But, as we say in Milan, something is better than nothing.
These days I'm getting familiar with technology and media, reading manuals, watching tutorials to improve my audio-visual editing skills.
Music-based relaxation techniques, harp accompanied fairy tales, mantra chanting and meditation are but a few ideas to orientate our video and podcast content.
Make an agreement with the organization you work with, to make sure you are addressing their specific needs and their equipment.
Work together to keep therapeutic music streamings and recordings available to patients and staff.
Create a special stress relief soundtrack for doctors and nurses.
Take care of the volunteers, extraordinary people who are feeling frozen in their altruism during quarantine.
Free your imagination, your creativity and deep intention.
Music is unique and indispensable, here and now more than ever.
Silvia Maserati: Harpist, Certified Clinical Musician and Therapeutic Music Mentor